Greek poems about Spring – Nikiforos Vrettakos

Here’s my translation of a poem by Nikiforos Vrettakos (1912-91):

I love you, Spring
I love you, Spring
You look like peace. You look like mothers
breastfeeding their babies
in the paintings of Raphael.

You look like the smile
in music.
You remind me of God
writing about love
on great reams
of pages with stars
bends in rivers
and poems.

Greek poems about spring – Manolis Anagnostakis

A Spring
When a spring smiles
you will put on a new suit of clothes
and come and shake my hand
my old friend.

And although perhaps no one expects you to come back
I feel the beating of your heart
and a budding flower in your ripe
bitter memory.

Some train, sounding its whistle at night,
or a ship, far away and unforeseen
will bring you back with our youth
and our dreams.

And although perhaps you have not really forgotten anything
coming back is always worth more
than any love of mine or yours
my old friend.

Greek poems about Spring – Giannis Ritsos

Here are my translation of two short extracts about spring from longer poems by Giannis Ritsos:

VII, 3-7
“Every flower has its place in the sun,
everyone has a dream.
Everyone has a sky above their wound
and a little illegal note about spring in their pocket.”

With our laughter
we brought the Spring back again
and from its golden hair
we weave rings
for our slender fingers.

Greek poems about spring – Kiki Dimoula

Here are my translations of a couple of poems by the modern Greek poet, Kiki Dimoula (1931-2020). She had a desk job at the Bank of Greece in Athens for many years before giving it up to become a poet full time.

On my way
to work at 7.30 in the morning
I meet March
in a good mood
full of intimations
of spring and so on.

I put my existence on hold,
I break my contract
with winter,
and am scattered on the ground.
I turn into a little natural Earth,
laying down, spread out
face to face
with the universe that is in harmony with everything.
I grow flowers,
emotions bloom in me,
and I feel very good
on this endless journey,
being here.

“Spring’s forbidden!”
suddenly a cloud-sign
warns. Straightaway
it started raining and spoke out
against spring,
and against me,
a sad wind
blows away my flowers
scatters my emotions
and drives me to the Office.

So, a serious offence then,
particularly on my way to work,
by a lady of a certain age,
with family responsibilities,
and with many years’ service
in a government job
and winters.

All my poems about spring
remain unfinished.

That’s because spring is always in a hurry
and my mood is always lagging behind.

So, I force myself
to finish
every unfinished poem of mine about spring
in autumn time.